Sunday, March 10, 2013

Story from Poso: Transformation begins from "me"

Her name is Yurlianti. She is almost 40 years old, with a child and a husband. I met her in 2008, when AMAN Indonesia started project of Increasing the role of women in peacebuilding. Like other women in that area, She was one of victim of conflict in which her father was murdered by her (Muslim) neighbor, who was provoked by mass to attack and kill each other. Though it was not easy for Yurlianti to accept the situation knowing that the murderer of her father is living in one village with her, on the other hand she would like to continue the life. When AMAN Indonesia offered a week training on conflict transformation and peacebuilding in Poso, she was selected as one among 45 participants coming from Poso district with equal number of Muslim and christian group. 

After training, her strong interest on learning new knowledge as well as to build better communication with Muslim neighbor has brought her into a long term education process in AMAN Indonesia and a learning by doing training as women's leader. With Sekolah Perempuan Perdamaian (women school for peace, later on i call it SP) that AMAN Indonesia introduced in Poso 2008 as an alternative media for interfaith women to build their self-confidence, basic knowledge on women human rights, peacebuilding, tolerance, etc. Unlike other peace education, SP was designed 2-4 hours education per week. It required strong commitment to joint with the program, because the program offer "transformation" as the final outcome. It means that the participants of SP will change their perspective, attitude and behavior. Yurlianti took this steps to increase her capacity in writing, speaking, listening, negotiating, presenting, facilitating etc.  

Her process is speeding when she was elected as an coordinator of SP, an alternative woman organization initiated by women of Malei Lage in responding demand on fasten improvement of knowledge and skill on  women's leadership. So the best way to learn women's leadership is by involving in an organization. It was surprising to me that she was supported by Muslim women too. It is indicating that she is accepted in Muslim women group and christian group. 

She began to think about transformation within family. Knowing that husband did not much support her, she tried to ask her husband to send her to any social activity that she got an invitation to attend. The idea is to  let him familiar with her activity. Every time she came from a regular class, she let her note book on the table expecting that husband opens it after he come back home. She started better communication with husband. One day, when the organization is growing and trying to learn how to be independent. She found that stick from coconut leaf could be used as basic materials to create a traditional plate. She brought facilitator from neighboring village to train mothers, and some more people during gathering in village. At the moment, the village leader supported this initiative. In this occasion, it was by accident that she discovered that her husband was a quick learner. From his hand, a new design of traditional plate produced and marketed to different places. Now, her husband is one of potential trainer. 

Now, it is amazing to see him always supporting whereever she is going and be ready for any help. Including in transforming men in the village.

Why is Yurlianti interesting for me? She is one of women in the program who has been put strong commitment for transformation. She can show me detail process of transformation from "me" to husband, family and community very clear. She deserves a tittle as extra ordinary woman, because when she started the program she was not confidence to talk and argued. But now, she shows strong leadership for transformation with the support of her family and community. *** 

(Perhaps some stories about her is also covered nicely by , this is just my personal impression as a woman who believe on transformation. Feedback can be send to or just posting to comment)

No comments:

Post a Comment